June 9, 2022

June 9, 2022

            The Miner County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on June 9, 2022 in the Miner County Courthouse Commission room.  Members present:  Alex Protsch, Tom Reisch, Kari Jo Carlson, Kathy Faber and Joe Bechen.  Absent:  none.  The flag pledge was recited.  Others present for portions of the meeting included Sheriff Rob Eggert, Director of Equalization Tami Severson, Treasurer Jessica Charles, Register of Deeds Karla Neises, State’s Attorney Kristian Ellendorf and many Howard & Miner County residents.  Motion by Reisch, seconded by Faber and carried to approve the agenda.

            The minutes from the May 17th meeting were approved.

            The auditor’s account with the county treasurer showed a June 1, 2022 balance of $6,781,615.98 in all state, county, civil, school and trust accounts.

            No persons appeared for Public Comment.

            It was moved by Bechen, seconded by Carlson and carried to approve the following claims for payment: Road & Bridge $38,750.39, Wellmark $49,363.13, Delta Dental $1,516.31, Kansas City Life $448.29, Retirement $6,573.97, OASI $9,334.78, Commissioners $4,519.75, Auditor $9,765.80, Treasurer $7,188.75, States Attorney $5,708.75, Govt Building $3,110.54, Director of Equalization $8,249.55, Register of Deeds $6,832.04, Vet Service $911.00, Tax Deed Property HHCC $700.00, Sheriff $11,480.50, Contract Law $4,524.34, Welfare $667.20, Co Nurse $1,426.50, Ambulance $8,416.70, WIC $97.00, Extension $1,426.50, Weed $1,307.50, Dispatch $12,671.95, Emergency Mgt $2,428.50 MAY PAYROLL; Jessica Charles $14.00, Susan Connor $14.00, Amie Kidd $14.00, Karla Neises $14.00, Tami Severson $14.00 TRAVEL.

Poll Workers $5,430.00 ELECTION SALARIES; Poll Workers $252.42 MILEAGE; Canova Village $50.00, City of Carthage $50.00, Fedora Fire Dept $60.00 RENT; Jurors $350.00 JUROR FEES; Jurors $60.48 MILEAGE; Northwestern $1,026.69 GAS SERVICE; AT&T $292.61 TELEPHONE.

Alliance $150.00, Santel $55.12, Triotel $171.53 911 CHARGES; Horizon Health Care $100.00 BLOOD DRAW; ICAP $1,403.84 COMMUNITY ACTION PAYMENT; SD DOT $21,326.17 CONTRACTED MAINTENACE; DeCastro Law Office $1,425.90 COURT APPT ATTYS; HFCA $22,412.46, Miner Co Treasurer $20.81, Shane’s Hardware $15.99, Studevant’s $53.42 FUEL; Co Employee $2,000.00 INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENT; Madison Regional Health System $1,959.00, SD Dept. of Human Services $49.89 MENTALLY ILL PATIENT CARE; Minnehaha Co $188.20 MENTAL ILLNESS HEARING EXPENSE; Todd Spader $594.00 MOWING; Miner Co Treasurer $192.24 POSTAGE; Davison Co Sheriff $1,425.00, Lake Co Sheriff $3,040.00 PRISONER CARE; Avera Occupational Medicine $864.00, Pictometry International $25,670.00 PROFESSIONAL SERVICE; Dust-Tex $132.78, USPS $100.00 RENT; All-in-One Landscaping $650.00, C&R Supply $152.93, Howard Auto Clinic $111.25, Iverson $265.69, James Valley Landscape $888.88, S&S Contracting $257.45, Shane’s Hardware $31.98, Sturdevant’s $171.37, Two Way Solutions $1,250.00, Ultra $1,366.25 REPAIRS; Knife River South Dakota $334.37, Truenorth Steel $44,761.00 ROAD MATERIALS; Kristian Ellendorf $900.00 STATE’S ATTY OFFICE EXPENSE; Relx Inc $149.00 SUBSCRIPTIONS; Colleen Arens $150.00, Bright Arrow Technologies $270.00, C&R Supply $15.57, DS Solutions $175.00, Dust-Tex $185.98, ES&S $942.52, Fox Promo $305.61, Gillund Enterprises $240.96, Home Service Water Conditioning $23.20, Homestead Building Supply $29.99, HFCA $8,172.25,  Madison Ace Hardware $15.00, McLeod’s $40.97, Mid-American Research $357.67, Miner Co Treasurer $60.00, Pheasantland Industries-Garment $319.00, Tim Reisch $200.00, Runnings $347.91, Rusty’s $6.12, Seachange $185.00, Tami Severson $20.00, Shane’s Hardware $198.76, Sturdevant’s $310.30, Ultra $172.30, USPS $560.00, Wheelco $381.68, Wireless World $814.97, Brittany Yanish $8.40, Zabel Steel $224.38 SUPPLIES; Alliance $978.81, AT&T $53.48, Susan Connor $30.00, Lori Kiehl $30.00, Tami Severson $30.00, Verizon $126.06 TELEPHONE; Daniel P Feldhaus Reporting $395.20 TRANSCRIPTS; Bridges Bay $229.32, Susan Connor $36.12, Ramkota Hotel $462.00, Tami Severson $200.00, Kent Terwilliger $176.60, The Lodge at Deadwood $438.00 TRAVEL; Central Electric Coop $78.83, City of Howard $3,740.87, Xcel $14.80 UTILITIES; Factor360 $600.00 WEBSITE.

            The board acknowledged receipt of the following correspondence:  Miner County Sheriff’s May report; ECSD-Victim Witness May report; Veteran Services Officer May report; Miner County moisture report. 

            Carlson and Faber reported on their attendance at the 911 budget meeting in which funding, Sanborn County contributing an additional $10,000 annually and the 2023 budget request were discussed. 

The Board conducted the official canvass of the results of the primary election held on Tuesday, June 7, 2022

There were no changes in the results.  The Certificate and Canvass were signed and transmitted to the Secretary of State’s office.

            Sheriff Rob Eggert made a request for a $1000 pay increase for Garrett Werkmeister as he has completed his state law enforcement certification.  It was moved by Bechen, seconded by Carlson and carried to increase Deputy Werkmeister’s salary by $1000.   

            Eggert made another request to increase Deputy Hahn’s salary by $2000.  Eggert stated Hahn did not receive a pay increase that was granted to other county employees in February.  Reisch informed Eggert that Hahn had received additional pay increases in 2021 totaling $2500 so he was not in favor of granting an additional raise.  Carlson would like to wait for the wage study to be completed by 1st District.  Bechen stated he believed that since Hahn did not receive an increase in February he would be in favor of an additional raise for Hahn.  Faber agreed with Bechen.  It was moved by Bechen, seconded by Faber to grant a $1000 raise to Hahn.  Voting aye:  Bechen, Faber, Carlson, Protsch.  Voting nay:  Reisch.  Motion carried. 

            Eggert also asked for an additional $1500 raise for himself.  Commissioners stated that he had received the additional raise in January and did not approve his request. 

            Yearly physicals and mental evaluations are required by some sheriff’s departments.  Eggert will research costs and details of this topic and bring the information to a future commission meeting.  Eggert also reported that he is researching the COPS grant program.  The grant would provide funding to hire another full-time officer for his department.  More information will be forthcoming on this issue.

            4-H Youth Advisor Jillian Calmus provided updates on the Miner County 4-H program.  Currently there are 84 enrolled youth in Miner County 4-H; 200 animals registered for the 4-H year; 29 registered participants in 4-H Shooting Sports with 20 of those competing at the State 4-H Shoot; Cloverbuds meetings were held throughout the school year with 4 high school students assisting Calmus; Livestock judging events have been and will be held throughout the summer months; Miner County 4-H Horse Show will be held on June 21st;  horse practices have been held weekly; Achievement Days will be held August 1-3; a Special Foods workshop was recently held in the county;  a Robotics workshop is planned for July 14; and 4-H leaders are planning upgrades to the show ring area.  Calmus asked for permission to remove the tree located directly inside the west entrance to the grounds as it is a hazard for trailers entering and leaving the grounds.  Commissioners granted the request.  The hold harmless agreements for the exhibit hall and for use of the entire 4-H grounds were reviewed.  The board instructed Calmus to continue to use both of those agreements.  Calmus also reported that the camping pads have been installed to the east of the exhibit hall.  Electricity will hopefully be installed so that the campground is ready for use by Achievement Days.  4-H Leaders have received funds to upgrade the sheep, goat & swine barns.  The group will continue to raise funds to complete this project.  A committee is being formed to oversee this project.  Commissioner Reisch was appointed to serve on this committee. 

An application for abatement of property taxes was received from the SD Board of Economic Development for: Lots 2 & 3 Block 2, Industrial Park, Howard City.  This application has been reviewed and approved by the Howard City council.    It was moved by Carlson, seconded by Faber and carried unanimously to abate 75% of the taxes ($12,001.28) associated with for Lots 2 & 3 Block 2, Industrial Park, Howard City as SD Board of Economic Development owns 75% of this property.

State’s Attorney Ellendorf informed the board of Security Grant dollars that are available to improve Courthouse Security.  A requirement is that a security committee be formed.  Bechen and Protsch will serve on this committee to explore the security needs of the facility. 

Members of the Howard Community & Miner County residents were present to discuss the Howard Hotel & Convention Center.  Mary Leary informed the board that these people are not a formally organized group but are attending as concerned citizens each on their own behalf.  Leary questioned the meetings and minutes in which the HHCC was discussed.  She also voiced concerns as to how the proposed new owner’s business would affect the Howard Community.  She also questioned the way the agendas for the commission meetings are drafted.

Greg Dufault gave a brief history of the facility and stated he would like to see it used for the purpose for which it was built-a hotel, restaurant and convention center. 

Connie Ruml voiced that she wants to keep our community and families safe and has concerns with services that may be needed for this facility with already short-staffed ambulance service and a large area that the sheriff’s office must cover. 

John Mengenhausen has worked in the medical field with Horizon Health Care.  Horizon has a presence in Plankinton, SD where the Aurora Plains Academy is located.  That facility houses juveniles with the same conditions posed to be treated by iRecover.  Mengenhausen stated Horizon provided services to the academy on a daily basis.  This proposed facility in Howard would change the infrastructure of our community.  Plankinton has seen those changes.  He also commented that talk on the streets is that there was an appearance of conflict of interest with Ellendorf representing both parties.  The county received advice from the same attorney that is representing the future buyers of the property. 

Kristian Ellendorf offered the following time line and explanations associated with this matter.  Judy Shaw owned seven parcels associated with the HHCC.  The taxes became delinquent on one of the parcels of which the county took tax deed.  Prior to taking tax deed, the county had entered into a payment plan with Shaw to attempt to make those taxes current.  This plan failed.  During this time, Shaw had this property listed for sale with a real estate agent.  Once the county obtained tax deed to the one parcel, the board of commissioners instructed Ellendorf to proceed with litigation, as Shaw is still the owner of 6 of the parcels associated with this Howard Hotel and Conference Center.  Once litigation was started Shaw informed Ellendorf that she had a buyer and wanted to pursue reconveyance of the property.  The agreement between Shaw and that prospective buyer became null and void in March before the county was ever asked to consider a Resolution to Reconvey.  Shaw’s real estate agent contacted Ellendorf shortly thereafter stating they had a buyer and that the purchase agreement was contingent on the county’s reconveyance of the property.  Ellendorf reviewed the mounting costs for the county including repairs, utilities, salary for the overseeing of the property and insurance.  She clearly stated that the county’s interest is solely tied to the taxes through the tax deed.  After the purchase agreement was in place, the buyers came to the law office and asked Ellendorf to represent them in obtaining a business presence in South Dakota.  It was the real estate agent who asked Ellendorf to approach the commission to consider the reconveyance. 

Ellendorf told those present that the county does not have to reconvey the property, but this is the only method to recoup the county’s expenses for the taxpayers of Miner County.  If it goes through litigation, the likely outcome would be that the court would order that it be sold.  The county would need to declare the property surplus before it could offer it for sale.  The county would not be able to control who buys the property.  She read from statutes that state that the county could not refuse any bid unless the bidder was delinquent on taxes within the county.  The county would need to accept the highest bid.

Ellendorf reiterated that under the current resolution to reconvey, the agreement becomes null and void if the county does not have the money by June 15th.  If this occurs, the county will proceed with litigation. 

Mary Leary readdressed the concern regarding the perception of a conflict of interest with the State’s Attorney representing the county in the tax deed and also representing the proposed buyers of the HHCC.

Director of Equalization Tami Severson presented the following plat for consideration.  It was moved by Carlson and seconded by Faber to adopt the following resolution.


            BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of County Commissioners of Miner County, South Dakota, that the plat of LOT 1 OF FELDHAUS FIRST ADDITION IN THE NW ¼ OF SECTION 12, T 106 N, R 56 W OF THE 5TH P.M., MINER COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA, which has been submitted for examination pursuant to law, is hereby approved and the County Auditor is hereby authorized and directed to endorse on such plat a copy of this Resolution and certify the same.

            Voting aye:  Reisch, Carlson, Faber, Bechen and Protsch.  Voting nay:  none.  Resolution adopted this 9th day of June, 2022.                                                 

                                                                                    Alex Protsch, Chairman                                 

                                                                                    Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest: Susan Connor, Miner County Auditor

            Severson informed the commission that she is asking property owners to report any storm damage that has occurred with the recent storms.

            Newly hired custodian, Lori Kiehl, gave a report on building and grounds issues.  The 13-year-old Dixon lawn mower is having issues.  The board instructed her to obtain quotes for a replacement mower and bring that information to the next commission meeting.  Also needing replacement are the vacuum cleaners and paper towel dispensers.  The board instructed her to proceed with those replacements.  While working at the school district, Kiehl helped refinish the Terrazzo floors.  The board instructed her to bring more information and costs to a future meeting for their consideration. 

            The SDML Workman’s Compensation Intergovernmental Contract which updated foreign travel was reviewed by the board.  It was moved by Faber, seconded by Reisch and carried to authorize Chairman Protsch to sign the agreement.

            It was moved by Carlson and seconded by Faber to adopt the following resolution.


            BE IT RESOLVED by the Miner County Board of County Commissioners, having adopted and signed a Joint Cooperative Agreement on the 28th day of March, 1972, creating the First Planning and Development District, Model Rural Development Program, do hereby agree to renew their participation in the Joint Cooperative Agreement for Fiscal Year 2023 (October 1, 2022-September 30, 2023).  To support the Joint Cooperative Agreement and the activities of the district staff, the Miner County Board of County Commissioners will provide $9,410.00 to the First District Association of Local Governments during the aforementioned Fiscal Year 2023 period.

Voting aye:  Reisch, Carlson, Faber, Bechen and Protsch.  Voting nay:  none.  Resolution adopted this 9th day of June, 2022.

    Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                                                    Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest: Susan Connor, Miner County Auditor

            Tim Reisch requested to be placed on the next agenda to review his position as Veteran’s Services Officer.  He will meet with the board on June 21st at 9:45 a.m.

            The board instructed the auditor to answer the State Health Insurance and benefits data request form. 

            The board reviewed the PUC Interrogatories request.  Carlson and Protsch will work with Ellendorf to prepare for consideration at the June 21st meeting. 

            Severson informed the commission that an insurance claim will be filed reporting the damage to the wind blade located on the Howard Hotel and Convention Center.  This damage was sustained during the recent wind storm.

            It was moved by Carlson, seconded by Bechen and carried to enter into executive session (SDCL 1-25-2 (1 & 3) at 11:34.  The board returned to regular session at 11:45.

            Having no further business, the board adjourned until June 21st.  Dated this 9th day of June, 2022.

      Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                                                    Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest: Susan Connor, Miner County Auditor






















Contact Info

Please see department pages for direct contact information.

Physical Address: 

Miner County Courthouse

Park Ave. & Main St

401 N. Main St.

Howard, SD 57349


Office Hours: 

7:30am-12:00pm & 12:30pm-4:00pm

Monday - Friday

(Sheriff/Dispatch Office Open 24/7)